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April 13, 2011 / Political Fluency

The 2011 Budget in Context

So the latest news is that the budget deal only saves $352 million and conservatives are griping that the 2011 budget is larger than the promised 2008 level of spending by a factor of the stimulus package.

The budget deal cut late Friday by President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) will allow $3.7555 trillion in federal spending in this fiscal year.

That is $773 billion more than federal spending was in fiscal year 2008–the fiscal year before Congress enacted a bailout for the banking industry requested by President George W. Bush and a $787-billion economic stimulus law request by President Barack Obama.

This is a good opportunity to put the 2012 budget battle into context. Here are the federal outlays since 1997:

As you can see if you take the average growth of the budget before the large 9.1% spike in the 2008 budget under President George W. Bush, we would have a 2011 budget that is only $8 billion lower than the budget that actually passed.

To say that this is a $773 billion spike from 2008 budget levels is out of context with the reality that the United States budget increases every year.

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